By QDO President Brian Tessmann
Last week QDO held a very successful combined districts meeting and councillor training event with a room full of experienced and newly engaged dairy farmers across two days. The training focused on helping our industry to get a better understanding of how to conduct proper governance and successfully run successful and productive meetings going forward.
Mike Smith and Stephen Robertson of Ethical Consulting used their considerable experience in corporate governance and the importance of compliance. Queensland Farmers’ Federation’s (QFF) Communications Officer Mark Neville also shared his experience and advice on media strategy aimed at getting the most from public interactions.
The State Council dinner saw a number of local farmers join the councillors in hearing from former politician Stephen Robertson who spoke about his time in politics and some effective lobbying tactics. Australian Dairy Farmers’ National President Terry Richardson also shared stories dairying across the ditch, his move to Victoria and his subsequent time on processor boards including Warrnambool Cheese and Butter.
Sixteen state and district councillors attended the two-day programme with five of those being under 30-years-old, and another three under 40-years-old. QDO will be arranging some targeted training in the coming months for those councillors looking to take the next step.
All in all, the entire event was a great learning and networking experience that saw many young councillors connect with fellow, more-experienced councillors for the first time. In addition, it gave QDO the opportunity to get feedback on its past endeavours and input into what issues need more attention in the future.
Building up QDO’s human resources and capability is and will continue to be the organisation’s priority into the future. Overall, the event was a great way to kick off the new QDO election cycle alongside the many new district councillors.